Tokyo stocks down as Turkey jitters continue

Pedestrians stand in front of a stock indicator displaying numbers of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (top C) and the world’s major markets in Tokyo. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Tokyo stocks down as Turkey jitters continue

  • Tokyo stocks erase early gains to finish lower in Wednesday trading, as Turkey’s currency crisis fuels concerns of contagion to other emerging economies
  • Tokyo shares opened higher after Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as Turkey’s lira recovered some ground

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks erased early gains to finish lower in Wednesday trading, as Turkey’s currency crisis fueled concerns of contagion to other emerging economies and pressured Asian shares.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which jumped more than two percent on Tuesday, lost 0.68 percent or 151.86 points to 22,204.22.
The broader Topix index was down 0.76 percent or 12.92 points at 1,698.03.
Tokyo shares opened higher after Wall Street advanced on Tuesday as Turkey’s lira recovered some ground.
But they soon fell into negative territory as Turkey’s financial woes continued weighing on investor sentiment in the region, sending key Asian shares down.
“While the lira is stabilising, investors are still concerned that the crisis will spread to other emerging economies and currencies,” said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
“Trading is expected to remain nervous for now,” Sato told AFP.
Investors were watching closely after the lira hit record lows on Monday and equity markets dropped sharply on concerns Turkey’s financial crisis could spread globally.
“Risk aversion triggered by the lira’s plunge is taking a breather for now,” Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said in a commentary.
But he noted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had not eased his tough stance as he said Turkey would boycott US electronic goods like the iPhone in response to punitive sanctions from Washington.
“We can’t take our eyes off the Turkish situation as how this will develop is increasingly uncertain,” Ito said.
Earlier Wednesday, Turkey announced it was hiking tariffs on a range of US goods in “retaliation for the conscious attacks on our economy by the US administration.”
The dollar was at 111.26 yen in Asian afternoon trade against 111.21 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.
In individual stocks trade, shares of game makers plunged as China’s regulators have reportedly frozen approvals of game licenses amid a government shakeup.
Online game company Nexon slumped 5.85 percent to 1,318 yen, general game maker Capcom dropped 2.70 percent to 2,558 yen and Nintendo was down 2.95 percent at 34,850 yen.
Toyota fell 0.71 percent to 6,815 yen as Nissan lost 0.38 percent to 1,033.5 yen.
Panasonic dropped 1.13 percent to 1,390.5 yen with Sony down 0.39 percent at 6,000 yen.


Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

Updated 19 September 2018
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Turkey cuts investment criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship

  • Turkey made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship
  • Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks

ANKARA: Turkey on Wednesday made it easier for foreigners to become Turkish citizens by cutting the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship, according to a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks, down from $3 million before while fixed capital investment was reduced from $2 million to $500,000 dollars, the decree published in the Official Gazette said.
Meanwhile individuals can obtain citizenship if they employ 50 people, down from the previous 100, while those who own property worth $250,000 can become Turkish citizens, compared to the previous value necessary of $1 million.
The decree is the latest in a series by Erdogan in what appears to be a bid to prop up the embattled Turkish lira and the economy which slowed down in the second quarter.
Last week, the president ordered that contracts for the sale, rent and leasing of property in or indexed to foreign currencies would not be allowed.
The Turkish currency fell against the US dollar drastically in August after one of the most bitter spats between Ankara and Washington over the detention of an American pastor.
The lira lost nearly a quarter in value against the greenback in August.
But there had been investor concerns over domestic economic policy and Erdogan’s continued opposition to high interest rates, although the central bank aggressively hiked its main policy rate 6.25 percent to 24 percent last week.
Erdogan will later meet with representatives of American companies working in Turkey at 1500 GMT at his presidential palace in Ankara, according to the presidential website.
He will meet with 30 senior executives, according to HaberTurk daily, including representatives from Microsoft and Google.